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Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – November 15, 2022

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Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity visited the Western Mindanao Command at Camp Navarro, Calarian, this city on Monday, November 14, 2022. Following a closed-door meeting with WestMinCom Acting Commander, Marine Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas they traveled to Basilan to meet with officials of Joint Task Force Basilan and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front thereat.

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The meeting was held at the 101st Infantry Brigade headquarters at Barangay Tabiawan, Isabela City, Basilan. Secretary Galvez spearheaded a bilateral meeting to address the prevailing issues between the MILF and military in Basilan and restore the sanctity of the peace process.

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Secretary Galvez reiterated the essence of the 2014 ceasefire agreement signed by both the MILF and the Government of the Philippines (GPH).

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In the latter part of the meeting, both parties agreed to exhaust all means to prevent similar unfortunate incident to happen again. He urged both parties engage more and re-establish their good relationship as partners in sustaining peace in the province of Basilan.

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The MILF officials expressed their support for the military’s campaign to eliminate the menaces of society, particularly the remnants of the Abu Sayyaf Group and other lawless elements. A Joint Peace and Security Team (JPST) will be organized to monitor the security concerns in Ungkaya Pukan.

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Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway, Commander of Joint Task Force Basilan said that the MILF is one of the active supporters of the military in its campaign against terrorism. ‘We are looking forward to a renewed and stronger partnership with our friends from the MILF.”

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During the meeting, Secretary Galvez, Brig. Gen. Rojas, and Brig. Gen. Gobway was joined by Brig. Gen. Eduardo Gubat, Chairman of the GPH Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH); Col. Frederick Sales, Deputy Brigade Commander of the 101st Infantry Brigade; Lt. Col. Cyril Santander, Commanding Officer of the 18th Infantry Battalion; Lt. Col. John Ferdinand Lazo, Commanding Officer of the 64th Infantry Battalion; Lt. Col. Bernard Samin, Commanding Officer of the 4th Special Forces Battalion; Butch Malalang, Chairman of the MILF CCCH; Anwar Alamada, Chairman of the MILF-AHJAG; Dan Asnawie, Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Member and Commander of 114th Base Command of the MILF in Basilan; and MILF Commander Huram Malangka.

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“This momentous day has served as a venue for reconciliation and restoration of the good relationship among peace advocates. I am confident that because of the renewed commitment of both parties to work together for peace, we will be able to further enhance the security posture not only in Basilan but in the entire Bangsamoro region,” Brig. Gen. Rojas said. “With a broader perspective instilled in both parties, we are certain that what had transpired will never happen again. We have a great team here. Everyone in this room is part of this winning team. Remember teamwork is key, unity of effort works, and partnership matters. “

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